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Titans may be forced to play walking wounded

THE embattled Gold Coast Titans are challenging Cronulla as the NRL's team in crisis with coach John Cartwright yesterday forced to name injured pair Beau Falloon and Aidan Sezer (pictured) in his fragile squad to play an upbeat Canberra on Sunday,

Still reeling from one of the club's worst performances in losing to the Wests Tigers, Falloon (knee) and Sezer (corked quad) are rated only 50-50 chances of playing.

With Matt Srama not even close to returning from shoulder surgery and back-up Sam Irwin injuring his ankle in the Queensland Cup at the weekend, Cartwright could be forced to turn to the inexperienced Paul Carter, who is a not a recognised hooker.

Cartwright said while ex-Parramatta hooker Matt Keating was playing with feeder club Burleigh Heads, he would probably prefer to go with Carter if Falloon failed a late fitness test.

Representative prop Ben Hannant, meanwhile, will return to Brisbane's starting front-row to cover the suspension of Josh McGuire, hit with two charges out of the clash with the Cowboys.

Unbeaten Penrith welcomes back five-eighth Jamie Soward to its starting side while hard-running prop Tim Grant is set to return from injury via the bench.

Cronulla is sweating on play maker Todd Carney to return against the unbeaten Dragons, his nagging hamstring twice spoiling previous comeback attempts.

But even with Carney, the Sharks still have half their first grade side, including skipper Paul Gallen and Andrew Fifita, sitting on the sidelines.

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